Information & Support
Caring for a baby or child who suffers from reflux can be extremely stressful and you may find yourself on an emotional rollercoaster ride. Your experience and emotions can be perfectly normal for your situation and this is where the Reflux Infants Support Association (RISA) Inc can help.
“When it’s 2am, you’re up for the 10th time and you just don’t know what to do about your screaming baby RISA is there. The huge network of families who have travelled or are travelling the reflux road will always be there for you with practical advice, support and knowledge. No matter what time of day or night RISA will be there.”
~ Janine, Brisbane
Pain associated with untreated acid reflux can cause babies to display long periods of inconsolable crying, wakefulness leading to sleep deprivation, and distressed and avoidant feeding behaviour resulting in poor growth.
One of the lesser known (and obviously less frequent) consequences of severe gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is the need to tube feed some children. Babies can learn very quickly that the act of feeding hurts and as a result will refuse to feed. Despite the notion that feeding should be instinctual, there are some instincts that take precedence, like preserving oxygen flow or avoiding pain.
So my son cannot have dairy, soy, gluten, egg … what on earth do I feed him!? This is a question faced by many parents who have infant and toddler ‘refluxers’, as food can often be the culprit for a reflux flare and cutting out gluten, dairy, soy, and/or egg from their diet can sometimes help (AND there may be other foods that need to be avoided too!). Food allergies show on allergy tests but there are no skin or blood tests for food intolerance and both can cause symptoms of reflux in susceptible children
General information about paediatric reflux disease.
Different techniques work for different refluxers so trial and error are needed to identify any that may help you. They may work for refluxers and silent refluxers alike. If you have any concerns, please discuss these with your child’s doctor or Child Health Nurse.
A child with reflux will not necessarily display all of these symptoms, and the number of signs exhibited does not indicate the severity of their reflux. If you suspect your child may have reflux or have any questions or concerns, it is important to discuss them with your child’s doctor or child health nurse.
Have you ever been to the doctor and been confronted with a treatment you knew nothing about and an explanation that left you just as confused? How do you decide which treatment is best for you? What are a treatment’s harms, benefits and objectives? If you have ever struggled with any of these questions, please consider visiting the Cochrane Collaboration Library.
Paediatric reflux general management tips.
For some infants suffering with GORD, hospital admissions are more common than for otherwise healthy babies. Hospital visits are never easy, but having the right gear can go a long way to making the experience more bearable. Below are some packing tips from our...
These tips may help you to overcome the enormous amount of stress created by caring for a baby with ‘reflux’. Don’t expect that you have all the answers from the beginning- it is a really steep learning curve, and chances are you did not know much about reflux before you had your child.
Sensory processing difficulties appear to be common for children with reflux. Approximately 51% of children with reflux also present with a major feeding difficulty such as food refusal, food selectivity, dysphagia or poor oral motor skills. It is interesting to note that 93% of feeding difficulties are found to result from a combination of organic causes (such as reflux) and secondary behavioural characteristics (such as avoiding meal times).